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State Senator Bob Hasegawa. (GeekWire Photo / Monica Nickelsburg)

Washington state could become a national leader in regulating the technologies of the future, thanks in part to a bill up for debate that would establish new guardrails on government use of artificial intelligence.

On the heels of Washington’s landmark facial recognition billenacted last year, state lawmakers and civil rights advocates are demanding new rules that ban discrimination from automated decision-making by public agencies.账单would establish new regulations for government departments that use “automated decisions systems,” a category that includes any algorithm that analyzes data to make or support government decisions.

The legislation would establish some of the most concrete artificial intelligence regulations in the U.S., which has not substantively tackled the issue at the federal level. Its proponents say Washington can’t wait for federal guardrails because the government is already deploying AI systems with real-world consequences.

If enacted, public agencies in Washington state would be prohibited from using automated decision systems that discriminate against different groups or make final decisions that impact the constitutional or legal rights of a Washington resident. The bill also bans government agencies from using AI-enabled profiling in public spaces. Publicly available accountability reports ensuring that the technology is not discriminatory would be required before an agency can use an automated decision system.


长谷川称人工智能决策系统是“最阴险的”技术之一,它影响着一月份的“我们每天如何做和做什么”hearing of the Senate State Government and Elections Committee.

“Everything from insurance ratings, to where to locate grocery stores, to you name it,” he said. “The most important disparity is in how it treats people of color. There’s no shortage of data on how those disparities exist.”

该法案的支持者强调了现实世界中人工智能已经在歧视历史上被边缘化的群体的例子。例如,去年春天,当美国司法部下令提前释放易受COVID影响的低风险囚犯时,联邦监狱局计划使用一种称为PATTERN的自动化风险评估工具。根据美国司法部的评估,该算法确定只有7%的黑人男性有足够的低风险提前释放,而白人男性只有30%highlighted by The Marshall Project.



“What this bill would give Washington the opportunity to do is set a precedent, raise awareness of the issue that peoples’ lives are being affected by algorithmic decision making tools,” she added. “Washington really has the opportunity to show that we take AI and algorithmic bias very seriously.”

During the hearing, representatives from the law enforcement and tech communities testified asking that legislators clarify which technologies would be subject to the regulations. They are concerned that standard uses of automation, such as red light cameras or fingerprint analysis, could face an undue burden under the law.

“We absolutely agree the with the goals of this legislation and agree with the need,” said Vicki Christophersen, a lobbyist for the Internet Association. “We just want to make sure there aren’t unintended consequences on uses that are pretty standard: red light cameras, speed zones, the use of identity systems, employee screening criteria on objective data such as years of experience required, those types of things.”


“We have agencies that will use crime reports [and] algorithms to suggest where we allocate our patrol resources in the highest areas of criminal activity in their jurisdiction,” McMahan said during the hearing. “Many of these, we think we would all agree, are legitimate public uses so we would ask for that continued conversation.”



如果颁布,华盛顿将率先在美国实施人工智能监管。少数几个州试图在2020年通过各种人工智能监管,但这些努力都没有成功,according to the National Conference of State Legislatures新泽西州也在考虑一项法案,该法案将禁止自动决策系统在当前的立法会议上对某些类型的歧视。其他州也通过了一些法案,承诺审查或研究人工智能技术将产生的影响。

账单under consideration in the Washington state legislature passed the State Government & Elections Committee last week and has been referred to Ways & Means, which reviews legislation that could impact the budget.

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